The society collapsed into civil wars, and the rival factions had begun to topple the Moai heads by the time the European setters arrived. Scientists wanted to answer this question and discovered through the art of palynology or pollen analysis that there used to be an abundance of plants and trees thriving on the island.
Throughout the history of the island many have wondered what happened to the island, had it always been so barren as it is now? We tend to assume that prehistoric populations must have Easter island avoiding destruction of a experienced brutal competition," Lipo told Ars.
But it might actually provide a good model for sustainable civilizations of the future. The people also used the trees for building canoes and harpoons, which in turn helped them to hunt porpoises, their main source of food.
The stem is connected to the sticks and therefore tends to be uniform in shape, but the blades themselves came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Starvation is not an automatic result of tree removal and neither is warfare Professor Sue Hamilton Yet the main belief is that it is thought that shortly before AD, Polynesians sailed to the island and began to settle there. The trees supplied fruit for the birds — both of which the humans ate — plus bark, used as a material for their clothing, and thatch for their roofs.
Some experts believe the fertile land allowed the population time to develop a rich culture and gave them time to carve the distinctive moai stone heads that the island is now famous for. Scattered across the island, the largest of these were up to 65 feet tall and weighed around tons.
However, the destruction of the palm forests that covered the island led to much of the fertile soil washing away, damaging the natural wildlife. Its human inhabitants were reduced to a starving population of 3, or less, scientists say. Hopefully the rest of the world will not make the same mistake and will learn from Easter Island.
Their ancestors likely arrived on Easter Island, now part of Chile, roughly a millennium ago. Soon they were unable to grow enough crops to fill the void in their diets. Stay logged in Sign up to comment and more Sign up Science — New evidence: The landscape was instead dominated by tall stone heads, known as Moai.
When the Dutch captain Jacob Roggeveen arrives on the island inhe estimates roughly people. Some believe the islanders cut them down to extinction, causing the deforestation while others believe it was simply the climate that finally caught up and the trees could no longer survive.
How could these people have constructed and transported such large objects? Lipo and colleagues found nothing of the kind. They could have used many methods as our class discussed in lecture such as different harvesting methods that would allow continual growth of trees allowing them to thrive while still allowing the use of the trees for the islanders needs.
Indeed, Roggeveen reports that the people he met on the island had plenty of food, which they shared with him and his crew. Share this article Share They found that, instead of there being a sudden collapse in farming, there was a much more gradual decline in some areas.
What had decimated the great civilization of Easter Island? The Europeans then further decimated the population through the diseases they introduced and the kidnapping of the island people for the slave trade.
In a last ditch effort at survival, they became cannibals. Sign up or login to join the discussions! The study will come as welcome news to the Rapa Nui - the indigenous name for the islanders - who have never been keen on the narrative about how their own stupidity ruined Easter Island.
This forced them to focus their diet more on mollusks and birds, the latter of which soon also disappeared. One major issue on the deforestation of Easter Island is: For centuries, observers believed that the Rapa Nui suffered a catastrophic population crash.
Streams dried up, the topsoil eroded, and fires became a luxury. This is an area we are following up on in our ongoing research. The loss of the forest was a near deathblow to the islanders. The fate of the Rapa Nui on Easter Island is often used to illustrate how humans destroy their communities with environmental destruction and warfare.
What happened to make them disappear? Archaeologist Carl Lipo, an author on the new paper, told Ars: Easter Island is a great case of this kind of sociality in which populations seem to have mediated competition over limited resources through the community building of statues.
What looks like strange behavior to us is likely central to their success. Easter Island civilization was not destroyed by war Researchers debunk a longstanding myth using elliptical Fourier analysis on ancient tools.
When Captain Cook came to the island inmembers of his expedition reported that the Rapa Nui "had lances or spears made of thin, ill-shaped sticks, and pointed with a sharp triangular piece of black glassy lava.
Others follow the same kind of argument, including Jared Diamond.Easter Island, also called Rapa Nui, is a small, volcanic island located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is remote and isolated.
Easter Island is 3, km west of Chile, which has legal control over it, and is 2, km east of Pitcairn Island, the nearest island. Easter Island was once a haven for its inhabitants.
It provided them with all of their needs, food, shelter, tools, and even the ability to create great works of art. They abused this Eden, and turned it into a disaster, with almost no natural resources. Legend says the island's landscape was washed away by the destruction of the palm forests, which ruined the fertile soil and forced the population to descend into cannibalism.
When Europeans arrived on Easter Island in the eighteenth century, they were stunned by the sheer awesomeness of the moai.
They guessed that an enormous number of people must have built the statues, and they were surprised to discover that the island's population was only about 3, people.
When the Polynesians first settled Easter Island as late as C.E., it was a sub-tropical piece of land covered with millions of palm trees. Five hundred years later, when the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen came upon the.
Easter Island is a mystery in itself. It holds many questions for the scientific world, wondering who the islanders are and what happened to them over the course of time. The island was believed to have been settled a little before A.D.
by the Polynesians on a deliberate adventure across the ocean in search of new places to colonize and found a .Download